“But when he saw many of the Phaisees and Saducees coming to his baptism, he said to htem, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?’” 3:7, ESV
“I baptize with water for repentance, but he who is coing after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.” 3:11, ESV
I love John the Baptist. Not only is he an eccentric prophet (see “locusts and wild honey”), he is a tremendous combination of boldness and humility. He was bold enough to publicly tell the truth about the religious leaders of his day. Many of whom were more concerned about their appearance in the community and their bank accounts than they were with the roles and people they were called to serve. But in the middle of his bold statements, John also realized that his role wasn’t to be the focus of attention, it was to prepare the way for Jesus. He had the humility to stand in deference as God gave the approval to Jesus, and all the attention began shifting to him.
This rare combination is what all of us are called to as believers. We should be incredibly bold in living out our faith and communicating the gospel to people who are far from God. At the same time, we have to realize that everything we say and do should be designed to deflect the spotlight from our actions and words and shine it solely on Jesus. After all, everything we are, everything we have and everything we do is the result of God’s grace given to us.
God, give us the boldness of John as we live our lives for your today. May we look for chances to speak a word or do a deed for you. As we do that, remind us to be sure the light shines on you instead of us, and that we lift you up instead of ourselves.